Opinion: Democrats' Health Care Bill Will Destroy Millions of Jobs
Washington, Nov 6, 2009 - The federal government reported today that thousands of Americans lost their jobs last month. Earlier this year, President Obama presented the trillion dollar "stimulus" to the American people as a plan that would put people back to work immediately, but since it became law, our economy has lost more than 3 million jobs.
Now, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Democrats are getting ready to pass a 2,032-page, $1.3 trillion government takeover of health care that would destroy millions more jobs.
Having been a small-business man before I came to Congress, I know that skyrocketing health care costs present a significant hurdle to meeting a bottom line and having the ability to add payroll, in both good times and lean times.
Washington Democrats have ignored these concerns and instead propose funding their government takeover of health care with more than $750 billion in new taxes that will fall heavily on entrepreneurs who run small businesses, and harsh mandates that require employers to either provide "government-approved" coverage or pay another steep tax.
According to a model developed by senior White House economists, these sorts of tax increases would result in as many as 5.5 million more American jobs lost over the next 10 years.
The effects of Speaker Pelosi's bill will be felt not only in these job losses, but in higher premiums, drastic Medicare cuts, dozens of new Washington bureaucracies, and new debt to be paid by our kids and grandkids. Is it any wonder that the more the public learns about this plan, the less they like it?
There's a better way. Republicans unveiled a plan in June to make health care more affordable and accessible at a price our nation can afford.
Our plan achieves this goal by implementing several smart, fiscally responsible reforms, including allowing small businesses to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, just as corporations and labor unions do.
Our plan would also:
- Establish Universal Access Programs to guarantee all Americans -- including individuals with pre-existing conditions -- access to quality, affordable coverage.
- Let individuals and families purchase health insurance across state lines.
- Give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs.
- End junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order not because they think it's good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.
As a result of these common-sense solutions, families' premiums under our plan would be nearly $5,000 lower than under Speaker Pelosi's bill, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). What's more, the CBO estimates that small-business owners and their employees would see their premiums decrease by as much as 10 percent.
Just as important, the CBO estimates our plan would reduce the deficit by $68 billion over 10 years, without imposing tax increases on families and small businesses or cutting seniors' Medicare benefits.
At this pivotal moment, when out-of-work families struggling to make ends meet are asking "where are the jobs," small businesses are sitting on their hands because Washington Democrats continue to pursue big-government programs that lead to more spending and higher taxes. We saw it with the cap-and-trade national energy tax that passed the House in June, and we're seeing it now with this government takeover of one-sixth of our nation's economy. This is not a recipe for fostering job creation and lasting prosperity.
A vote for Speaker Pelosi's health care bill is a vote to keep more people out of work longer. It's that simple.
The American people deserve a better solution, and Republicans' smart, fiscally responsible plan delivers exactly what they want.
Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is the House Minority Leader.
Original article: Sphere